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CNN commentator accused of 'gay bashing' for Beckham ad tweet

Courtesy of TV One

Roland Martin.

Updated 11:15 a.m. PT: On Monday, Roland Martin issued a statement defending his comments, which he said were against soccer fans, and not gay men.

“Fam, let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday. I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I'm sorry folks took it otherwise,” he said in a statement.

“It was meant to be a deliberately over the top and sarcastic crack about soccer,” he continued. “I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not. As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, anytime soccer comes up during football season it's another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more.”

When contacted for comment, CNN referred The Hollywood Reporter to Martin’s statement.

Original story: Roland Martin, a commentator for CNN, sent out a controversial tweet during the Super Bowl that resulted in GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) demanding his removal from the news network.

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After an H&M commercial featuring a scantily clad David Beckham aired (below), Martin wrote on Twitter: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!"

In response, GLAAD wrote: "@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT"

Martin replied:"@glaad @CNN well you're clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you're way off base."

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Martin responded to several tweets that accused him of homophobia, claiming that his comment was meant to be a slight toward soccer fans, and not against gay men. He insisted that he has often criticized soccer fans in America.

In response, GLAAD issued a statement demanding that Martin be fired from CNN.

“Martin has a history of anti-LGBT views. GLAAD is calling on him to be fired, joining many other LGBT activists and bloggers,” reads part of the statement. CNN did not immediately return request for comment.

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The statement also pointed out that Martin had made fun of a man for wearing pink earlier in the day. "Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass," he had written.

GLAAD's statement also points out that Martin had allegedly expressed other anti-gay remarks. The organization adds that after Tracy Morgan was criticized for saying "he’d stab his son to death if he said he was gay," Martin wrote on his blog about the incident, seeming to defend Morgan's stand-up commentary. "Say I’m wrong. Fine. Say I’m insensitive to gays and lesbians. Fine. I’ll wait for the usual bigots to say that I’m defending Tracy Morgan because he’s black. Fine," he wrote.

"Sorry, if I'm being honest here and not focusing on political correctness," he continued. "I just believe that many of you would be shocked and amazed that you laughed hysterically at some of the most sexist, homophobic, racist stuff imaginable by comedians of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations."

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GLAAD also points out that Martin openly supports "conversion therapy" for gay people. On his website in 2006, he wrote, "My wife, an ordained Baptist minister for 20 years, has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle, and to live a chaste life."

THR has requested official comment from CNN.

Martin has appeared on a variety of news shows as a commentator, including "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull," "The Situation Room," "Anderson Cooper's AC360" and "Lou Dobbs Tonight." He is also an author, most recently penning "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin."

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